Drinking Deeply

Tuesday, June 07, 2005 at 2:12 AM

On Forgiveness

Just had a talk with a friend and she pointed out something that I desperately needed to hear.

I stated earlier in a post that
"In one fell swoop she accuses me of hypocrisy and being unforgiving. Another blow that secularism has struck against the Christian worldview is a forcing on of definitions of secular "grace" and "forgiveness" as opposed to biblical ones. What does Christ say? Luke 17:4
and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, saying, 'I repent,' you must forgive him."
It is just as important the repentance part as the forgiveness one. I cannot and will not just idly stand by while God is being wronged and say "oh don't worry, I forgive you." This is what I see the world demanding of us and this is what I will openly oppose, even at the cost of people accusing me of hypocrisy. I will forgive any who ask, I will also try my best to ask for forgiveness when I wronged someone else, but I cannot grant forgiveness for something that people are not repentant of. But all the while the message is the same: God will repay so it is He who demands repentance and He who demands forgiveness."
I still am in agreement with what I said there. The verse right before says: Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him,

But one thing that my friend pointed out to me was that forgiveness should also be for me. That in my holding my hostility and anger, I am merely building up a wall against her, preventing reconciliation on my own. *ouch* Yeah, she's right. In that sense I am to forgive her, even if she doesn't ask for forgiveness (though my original point in the post was not about that, I think I have applied it out of context to my current situation). Sucks being wrong doesn't it?

So now I'm in a tough situation. I do feel like I grievously wronged her and need forgiveness. I also feel like I need to forgive her even if it's unclear if she's asked for forgiveness. At the same time, I do feel she is very wrong about a number of points, and when those points border on the inerrancy of Scripture, I don't know how to bring that up without sounding judgmental. It is not something I will let slide. I dunno. I'm awfully confused about this.

People keep pointing to passages about love. They are quite challenging for me, not only because I find myself in places where I seem unloving, but also because oftentimes I feel that the interpretation of those passages don't do Scripture justice. It's hard to listen to people when they point to "God is love" or "knowledge puffs up, but love builds up."

I guess this will serve as my introduction to a coming series on love. It's something I wrestle with, so I figure might as well do some in depth study of it.


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